New Airglades customs facility in Hendry County to bring 1,700 jobs, speed up importing food

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Airglades Airport in Hendry County. Credit: WINK News

It’s a celebration for Hendry County. Soon, a plot of dirt at Airglades International Airport will turn into a brand new state-of-the-art customs and border protection facility. It’s meant to help with trade between the US and Latin America.

Assistant director of trade for Customs and Border Patrol in Miami Greggory McCann says Miami hubs are congested and overcrowded.

Fredrick Ford, The Airglades International Airport president says they are there to basically act as an overflow or supporting carrier for Miami.

McCann says, “Perishable imports; fruits, vegetables, fish, they need to move fast.” And that faster move, means those items will get to you faster.

The 4,000 square feet of land sits fewer than 100 miles north of Miami, near the highway 27 corridor.

“Highway 27 goes to the front door of the Miami airport,” Ford added. “If you’re moving the airplane 100 miles farther north that means for every truck trip – and there are hundreds a day – it reduces every truck trip by 200 miles at $2.40 a mile plus tolls.”

The $2.1 million facility will also bring big benefits to Hendry County’s economy which has the highest unemployment rate in Florida at 4.6%.

Hendry County Administrator Jennifer Davis said, “In the agriculture industry, a lot of times our jobs are seasonal and so this kind of project will bring permanent jobs that will last year-round.” Translating to big bucks for this small town.

The project is expected to create 1,700 long-term jobs in Hendry County. The facility is scheduled to open in 2022.

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